It’s been a long time since the last Side Quest article, but here we are once again ladies and gentlemen! Today’s topic? Assassin’s Creed III!
NOTE: Obviously, the article contains *SPOILERS* about the beginning of the game, so if you haven’t played it… what are you waiting for? It’s amazing! Go on, I’ll wait…
Done? Ok, here we go! Among some complaints, regarding Ubisoft’s latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed III, was the fact that some people consider its beginning to be too slow, or too boring. They think it takes far too long to finally be able to step into the shoes of our favorite Native American hero, Ratonhnhaké:ton (or Connor, if you like). While I was also very impatient to finally play as Connor, I realized that playing as his father, Haytham Kenway, in the first 3 sequences, gave me a whole new perspective in the franchise. Because of this, I enjoyed it tremendously.
There will always be the good guys, and the bad guys (whether it’s in a movie, book, or even real life), but it can never be as simple as that. There’s no black and white; there’s always something special about someone. We always need to actually understand what these two forces seek; what their motivations are; what drives them to end the lives of the others (or commit other specific actions). The “good guys” can also make wrong decisions, and the “bad guys” can also seek something good, or be more than just… well, bad (even if it’s a little vague). This is why the beginning of Assassin’s Creed III is so good.
This is the first time we actually get to play as a templar in the Assassin’s Creed franchise (besides the multiplayer, but that one doesn’t have a narrative), a series which heavily favors the assassins, while trying to make you hate its antagonists, the templars, as much as possible. From the get go, you assume the role of Haytham. Your first mission is to recover a special key, which is believed to open the storehouse of the First Civilization (and in the process, make the order he’s in, even stronger). You manage to get the key, then take a boat to America, gather some allies, and try and find out the location of the specific place. The catch is that the whole time, no one tells you that Haytham and the gang, are actually templars. Because of this, and the eagle vision, the leaps of faith, the iconic hidden blades, and also because Haytham has such an awesome and refined behavior, you are led to believe that they are actually assassins.
And here comes the question: how can these guys be templars, if they spoke the whole time of order, of peace for the world? THIS is precisely why this beginning was necessary. It shows you that the bad guys you are fighting, can be much more than simply an excuse for you to kill them. They speak the same words as the assassins; they want the same thing. The fact that they want to achieve it through different methods, and those being enslavement, is another part altogether. These “bad guys” are also human beings with their respective problems and weaknesses (just like the heroes). You actually care for them on a specific level (especially for Haytham). This is further amplified when Connor thinks they can work together, more than in a few errands. The assassins and templars working together for a better world. If only it was this simple…
Here at Analog Addiction, we discussed it a bit, and some of us came to the same conclusions:
I loved the start to AC3. I thought it was a great way to set the scene and playing as a Templar gave the game a different perspective for me. Sure, it would have been great to start off as Connor, but I don’t know if it would have had the same effect.
It was a twist I never saw coming. I really liked it. I don’t get all this “7 hours to get to Connor” nonsense that everyone’s talking about as it took me 2 and a half hours but it provided a really good backdrop to how the conflict moved to the Colonies.
Yeah it wasn’t 7 hours, it was quite slow but it made the interactions between Connor and Haytham that much better. Also love the trophy once they reveal he is a templar…How you like them apples? lol
All in all, I think the beginning is an awesome way to further describe the eternal conflict between the assassins and the templars.
What’s your opinion on the matter? Let us know in the comments below!
Vlad Pintea is enjoying the hell out of Assassin’s Creed III, and looks forward to all the DLCs that will come (especially the one concerning George Washington). You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, on Skype, My IGN, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day and remember! Stay calm and keep on gaming!